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vegan coffee

Being fit does not have to be as hard as people make it sound.

You can still eat delicious, filling food.

 

There is a yoga type and a workout for everyone to love!

EAT

TO

THRIVE

TRAIN

TO

EXCEL

Hey, this blog page is geared toward my personal side- making a better self through training and food. I share recipes that I love and training of the mind with meditation & body with exercise and yoga.

You can contact us, otherwise I’ll be

        enjoying the sunshine in my garden while planning my next hike.

— Dropkick

3 Quotes from Muhammad Ali to live by every day

“I don’t count the sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count. That’s what makes you a champion.”

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.”

“What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming.”

Bouncing for training

Jumping on a mini-trampoline a.k.a. Rebounding

My favorite warm up exercise and one of my fav energizers is bouncing on a rebounder. I even use it to run on sometimes, and I get a better work-out than running. That split-second feeling of weightlessness gives of feeling of letting go which helps blow off stress.

  • It can be used by everyone. Those ill, injured, or the elderly can use it with the help of hand rails. Athletic people can do more challenging types of bouncing to further improve their conditioning.
  • It helps the lymph system, thyroid, and adrenals. That is great for weight loss and the immune system.
  • It helps digestion and aids in cleansing this system.
  • It increases muscle fiber tone and muscle-to-fat ratio.
  • It increases metabolism. Other cardio does the opposite when done too much.
  • It can burn many calories and make you sweat when done long enough.
  • Helps with balance, coordination, and flexibility. These are three very important things, but they are seldom worked on.
  • It is more effective cardio than running. Rather than harming joints, rebounding helps build stronger bones and joints.
  • Bouncing is fun. We need fun.

When you bounce try all types: bounce lightly without coming off the fabric, bounce high, run in place, bounce in a circle, kick your legs forward, bounce with a twist, bounce with a squat, bounce with calf raise, and bounce any way you come up with. Try it for at least 3 minutes. 15 minutes a day is great.

Good snack options

If you are hitting the fitness then you probably see that 3 meals per day does not cut it. Snacks between meals or having 5-6 small meals is a must for most of us.

The worst thing someone can do is not snack during the day and then overstuff at dinner to make up for the lack. There are many healthy snack options even when you are on-the-go. Many do not require a cooler or fridge. Some can be even picked up at a gas station. The key is to develop a routine of daily planning in the morning or before bed. Here are some ideas for snacks between meals:

  • Whole fruit or dried fruit
  • Raw veggies with hummus or avocado
  • Vegetable or avocado sushi rolls
  • Nuts (lower-sodium), 1-2 handfuls
  • Protein powder with water, juice, or vegan milk
  • Smoothie with fruit and/or greens
  • Meal bar or nut bar
  • 2-3 bananas and peanut butter
  • Salad with ingredients that give a variety of flavor and crunchiness
  • Vegan yoghurt (preferably with more fruit sugar than cane sugar or unsweetened)
  • Pre-baked potato or sweet potato
  • Baked tofu slices and hot sauce
  • Plant-based cashew cheese on flaxseed crackers
  • Oatmeal
  • Oatmeal bar or cookie, low-sweetener
  • Summer rolls with tofu and veggies
  • Hearty soup
  • Leftovers

***Of course, choose the amount of snack that fits within your calorie and fat needs. It is easy to eat 1000 calories of nuts or peanut butter, but that is too much for a snack for most people.

If you have a job that does not offer snack or lunch breaks- look for new job- then meanwhile bring food to drink down. Have a bottle with a high calorie protein shake, blended soup, or a oatmeal fruit smoothie. This can be partially frozen or iced if spoilage would be possible.

Home treat: If you are not on-the-go then vegan frozen banana ice cream loaded with toppings makes an excellent treat.

Some people like air-popped popcorn but I never have cared for popcorn without oil. You might.

Bad Snack Options:

Donuts, cookies, potato chips, candy bars, high-calorie coffee drink, zero calorie fake sugar drinks. Do Not Consume Them!

Find a healthy replacement.

The longer you eat healthier the more cravings for bad things will go away.

Which Tofu to Buy for higher protein diets & How to use it

For high protein cubes or slices:

As with other things, it is all about how firm it is.

A meal using super firm will give you 15-40 grams fairly easily. Sprouted tofu is better for digesting if you can find it.

Use super firm in a plastic bag not the white tray. You can buy this at any health food store and some markets. No pressing the water out needed. This tofu is mega firm. Water is low-so protein is high

2nd Option: Extra firm in the tray. Not quite as firm. More water-so protein is about 1/3 less. Squeezing the tofu needed (keep reading). This works in a pinch in an understocked store, but why pay for water instead of more tofu protein?

For scrambled Tofu or eggless Salad:

You need something more like the firmness of scrambled eggs to make the tofu version. Buy extra firm in the white tray. You will need to squeeze out much of the water with your hands or a paper towel/cheesecloth. Pressing it with a spatula when you heat it will cook out more water- this is why I never take time to let it drain before cooking.

For pudding or cheesecake:

Why are you eating pudding? It better be a rare treat. Use the firm tofu. Anything softer is useless and gross.

Elderberry tincture Kentucky style

elderberry bourbon tincture

Do not like sugar syrups?

Make a tincture from bourbon. A dropperful is a dose so no worries of getting intoxicated.

Alcohol actually pulls out more of the good stuff than hot water tea does.

Takes only 30 secs of work

You will have years worth of tincture for under $10. 

 

In a mason jar mix:

5 parts bourbon (or other drinking alcohol at least 80 proof)

1 part dried elderberries

Put on lid. DONE in under 30 seconds. Well, kind of. You must wait 4-6 weeks. Give a shake daily. Strain through fine mesh when the time is up. 

I use bourbon because of my roots + American made. You can use cheap vodka or any other alcohol. Alcohol quality and taste do not matter so much because the tincture will be as black as ink before it is done infusing. You may notice some change in flavor between types of alcohol. For herbs with shorter brews, I really notice a difference. Consult a herbal website or herbalist on how many drops should be taken for the immune system. Typically, it is a couple droppers full or 1/2 tsp.

Drink responsibly- getting wasted on tincture isn’t good for our training. For those with an alcohol-free lifestyle like me: you will not notice anything from this as it is about 1/20th a shot. Some people like taking a teaspoonful in club soda or juice for a very low alcohol adult beverage that is good for you. Do not try boiling out the alcohol to make it alcohol-free. That does not work. Buy a store-bought glycerin tincture for that version.

*** I am not herbalist. You may want to search around for other ways of making it. This is how I learned from an herbalist.

Vegan Elderberry Syrup for Flu Season- Great on pancakes!

vegan elderberry syrupWhen did not covering your mouth when coughing become okay? A warm yoga class turns into a Petri dish with the heat, deep breathing, and flu germs in a closet sized room. There’s probably less chance of catching something on Tinder than in yoga. I finally admitted that I know longer have an impenetrable immune system. Backpacking India for months and Celiac’s will do that. I found out that elderberry is the best thing for the immune system that can also be taken daily. Echinacea can cause harm to the liver after 2 weeks. Uh oh.

Since I am too frugal to buy $10 tinctures or syrup every month, I looked up various ways to make both from the dried berry… costing nearly nothing.

Finding vegan elderberry syrup recipes was pretty much impossible. They all use honey. Substituting with agave is easy but more expensive than using sugar.

Elderberry Syrup Recipe:

First off here is a warning: do not eat any of those raw berries because they are mildly toxic. They must be cooked. You will not die but you may want to.

2 cups water

1/2 cup dried elderberry

1 cup sugar, non-Florida grown (preferably organic- no pesticides)

2-3 lemon wedges

Put water, berries, sugar in a pot (Not aluminum. I used stainless steel.) Bring to near a boil. Then simmer another 20-30 minutes. It should be cooked down about halfway. Strain through a mesh strainer or large cheesecloth into your preferred storage jar. Add lemon juice. DONE. Refrigerate after it cools.

Good for 90 days. You can heat this again if not thick enough. Sometimes I like to reheat mine for pancakes toppings.

Uses: Just spoon 1 tsp+ daily for immune system, use as syrup on food, add to sparkling water, add to kombucha. If you are sick then take 1 tsp every 2-3 hours.

Do not like sugar syrups? Make a tincture. That recipe is up next postBuy your elderberries at a local health food store or Amazon. They also grow in every US state… if you feel confident in knowing what you are picking- trimming.  

Cherokee Corn Pone – skillet corn bread

This is a Native American staple depending on the tribe. I grew up having them about 360 days per year. It is eaten on the side like cornbread or bread. They are a perfect match with pinto beans. I like to get creative and use mine for refried bean sandwiches or as breakfast pancakes. I eat these more often after being gluten-free. Plus, I am too cheap to buy expensive gf bread that is like cardboard anyway.

corn pone recipe, vegan and gluten free

(Not perfectly round this batch. Oh well.)

Recipe:

1 cup Corn meal, fine-milled** Yellow is best

3/4 cup Warm water

1 tsp Sea salt

Mix ingredients in a large mixing cup or bowl. Stir. Heat your skillet on medium. Sit the mix 10 minutes if possible. This allows for the corn to rehydrate and not break with making into patties. You may want to add another spoonful of water if it is crumbly and dry. The batter with will be thick enough to pat out, but you do want some extra moisture. Put large spoonfuls in the skillet and pat with spoon to flatten into a round shape. It will be twice as thick as pancakes. Cook about 3 minutes on each side. It is hard to overcook them. 

DONE

Skillet- I use traditional cast iron. That allows me to not add oil. I flip with metal spatula, so that it does not break apart sticking to the cast iron. If you use a non-stick pan then you will want to add a spoon of oil for crispiness. Cook longer if you use no oil. My family members cook theirs in an inch of oil. There is no way in hell I will do that.

**I used Bob’s Mill Masa yellow corn meal. Bob’s is non-GMO even though the label does not say. Do not use polenta or grits or any corn meal that has large bits. I order a box to save money and because it is hard to find non-GMO in some stores. Feel free to use a cheap grocery brand. Some will taste like bleach or bland. It is the difference of it having taste great and it just being edible.

The best web designer at a good price

From my About Me page: Contract web design based in San Francisco-Mountain View & Orlando.

Specialize in working with businesses of: yoga, meditation, spa, retreat centers, and fitness + Membership sites.

Yes- Business branding, SEO, UX (user experience) coordination, marketing, WordPress training, shopping carts, online programs, and membership sites. I have a background in marketing and Psychology. Unlike the majority of designers, I understand how to create sites that intrigue and SELL to your ideal client…. not the millennials that others target who do not spend money on many things.

No- I no longer do eCommerce sites as they are not fun. Check out WooCommerce.

Clear communication always

About Me

I am a personal trainer and yoga teacher. I have been gluten-free (Celiac) since 2008 and vegan since 2000. CPT, RYT & untrained chef. I have a love of good knives, martial arts, meditation, fitness, herbal remedies, and reading books. I am a big animal lover with a retired Belgian Malinois and cat.